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Today you should know that a new poll shows that large majorities of Oklahoma voters oppose state income tax cuts if it means less funding for schools, roads and public safety. The poll also shows that voters believe cutting the income tax will lead to higher sales and property taxes to make up for lost revenues, and two-thirds oppose this tradeoff. See a memo from with the full results from Global Strategy Group here.
More parents and educators are expressing concerns that further tax cuts would have devastating effects on Oklahoma schools. Between 50 and 75 parents walked the Capitol yesterday to push for more public school funding. UCO economist and business dean Mickey Hepner debated Arthur Laffer over Laffer’s plan to cut the state income tax. This Land Press compiled tweets from those attending the event.
State Rep. Jerry McPeak accused state education officials of circumventing a law creating an appeals process for students denied a diploma. The monitors overseeing the child-welfare improvement plan for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services will not give their approval to the latest version. Officials from Texas and Tennessee have been identified as top candidates for the new Director of the Oklahoma DHS. The Tulsa World writes that legislation could undo all the progress Oklahoma has made in protecting animals raised in puppy mills.
The oil and natural gas industry accounted for $1 in every $3 of gross state product, according to a report commissioned by the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board. A Reuters special report examines the complicated financial-engineering that has been more lucrative for Chesapeake Energy than selling gas. Oklahoma higher education officials are optimistic about a plan to require energy cost-cutting at state agencies.
The Number of the Day is the percentage Oklahomans who believe an educated and well-trained workforce is more important for boosting the economy than low personal income tax rates. In today’s Policy Note, the Pew Economic Mobility Project finds that Oklahoma is one of the worst states in the nation for individuals seeking to climb the economic ladder.